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'The Hardest Bakery Possible': Reinventing The Meaning Of 'Whole Grain'

A handful of bakeries are pushing the envelope of what's possible — and palatable — by leaving the bran and germ in freshly milled grains from local farmers, who also help drive the menu.
Jonathan Bethony bakes his whole grain breads in a wood-fired oven, heated to about 500 degrees, to help the weighty loaves rise. Source: Whitney Pipkin for NPR

Jonathan Bethony admits the breads he'll be churning out at Seylou Bakery & Mill, which just opened this month in Washington, D.C., might not appeal to everyone.

The dark crusts of his pain au levain have a charred appearance and complex flavors to match their hue. Inside the loaves, a toothsome chewiness gives way to the tang of sourdough and a taste that can only be described as distinctly wheat-y.

But those characteristics are not an accident. They're the fruit of a baking process that is pushing the envelope of what's possible — and palatable — when working with locally sourced, freshly

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